RogerBW's Blog

Paul Temple and the Conrad Case 09 August 2020

1959 audio thriller by Francis Durbridge: Paul Temple is a professional novelist and amateur sleuth. A young woman has vanished from a finishing-school in Bavaria… starring Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury.

Things rapidly become very confused, and naturally Drugs are involved. There are perhaps slightly too many characters, especially considering that this was originally broadcast at one episode a week; but the objective is that the listener shall be surprised.

Unfortunately if you just assume that whatever seems least likely must be what's going on you won't be too far from the mark. Durbridge's main trick is to get the listener to say "oh, surely not him!". But it's enjoyable even so, and there are details that this approach won't reveal.

Notable background details in this one include the importance of making a distinction between normal dancing and modern young-people dances like the cha-cha. And there's that usual post-war undercurrent that German people are faintly suspicious simply because they're German; but there are plenty of non-foreign villains as well. More seriously, most of the things that go wrong for the villains can be traced to the innate unprofessionalism of anyone involved with drugs; when you have a hero who's at risk of coming over as smug and self-satisfied, I think it's important to show him succeeding by his own merits.

Still, while this is no masterpiece it has its moments.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1